In the context of understanding societal transition pathways, the process of learning entailed by the use of new technologies and innovations plays an important role. This paper explores the opportunities of integration between Initiative Based Learning (IBL) and Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to improve the understanding of learning in the context of transition towards cleaner energy technologies. Our analysis shows that IAMs and IBL conceptualize learning in a very different way, and the two approaches have major structural differences with respect to the geographical as well as temporal scale of analysis. This is also due to the different goals the two methodologies have. IAMs develop possible alternative energy and technology pathways for the next fifty to eighty years, whereas IBL deals with understanding the configuration of actors in specific institutional settings that legitimize and support specific technologies. We therefore conclude that ambitious forms of integration of IAMs and IBL are not feasible as of today. Yet, the two approaches can be used in parallel and lead to mutual enrichment.
D2.4: Comparing transition pathways in different countries (click to open pdf)
This report compares the empirical transition pathways in different domains and countries to the ideal-type transition pathways, distinguished in the PATHWAYS project. For electricity, Germany and the UK have equally ambitious long-term decarbonization targets. However, they differ significantly in terms of the status of their electricity generation regime: while the UK regime remains strongly locked-in and evidences only moderate cracks so far, the German regime is already in flux and shows very strong cracks. With regard to heating, the transition potential in both Germany and the UK is low and both countries face a stable regime with heavy lock-ins into assets both in infrastructure and buildings. Moreover, lack of political commitment in the UK up to now and difficult positions of interest groups in Germany together with an inconsistent mix of policies further complicate the situation. Sweden, on the other hand, is posed very differently and mostly concerned with stabilizing and manifesting the low-carbon regime’s state. In the mobility domain, both UK and The Netherlands show a dominant national pathway promoting the defence of auto-mobility. Though there are significant differences in the development of alternative mobility pathways between the UK and the Netherlands this should not be over-stated. The report highlights the strength of seeing the national of mediating generic transitions possibilities, and also highlights a second role for the national as a co-constitutor of contingent socio-technical mobility experiments. In the agro-food domain, most niche innovations in The Netherlands and Hungary demonstrate a low to medium momentum and the likelihood of breaking through is in general limited. Most of the niche innovations are considered to be consistent with Pathway B, meaning that they are broader regime transformations. The niche innovations in Hungary have a lower momentum, mainly because the initiatives are preoccupied by maintaining financial sustainability and focus on an economically viable pathway. However, recently the attention for environmental issues in Hungary is growing as well. Finally, the land-use regimes are stable in the Netherlands and in Portugal. There are opportunities to break through the regime established patterns, but these are limited and will most likely happen as small incremental changes.
This deliverable combines the findings in D2.1 (‘Analysis of green niche-innovations and their momentum in the two pathways’) and D2.2 (‘Analysis of stability and tensions in incumbent socio-technical regimes’) to make an interpretive assessment of the feasibility of sustainability transitions in the present for five empirical PATHWAYS domains. One of the most significant results is that most green niche-innovations have medium, low or very low momentum. This means that a transition does not appear to the imminent in most domains without further policy support. Most of the niche-innovations that do have high momentum relate to new technologies. The complete country-reports are available for download below.
Country report 1: German electricity system
Country report 2: UK electricity system
Country report 3: Swedish heat system
Country report 4: German heat system
Country report 5: UK heat system
Country report 6: UK mobility system
Country report 7: Dutch mobility system
Country report 8: Dutch agro-food system
Country report 9: Hungarian agro-food system
Country report 10: Portuguese land use system
Country report 11: Dutch land use system
D4.2: Representing and visualisation transition pathways (click to open pdf)
This report compares representations of sustainability transition pathways in different approaches and explores how these representations can help to bridge between the approaches. To meet these objectives, the report seeks to address the following questions: i) What are similarities and differences in representations of transitions between the different PATHWAYS approaches? ii)Where are opportunities for bridging between different approaches via pathways representation? The focus is on the notions of momentum and branching points, as these play a crucial role in the analyses of transitions in the different PATHWAYS approaches.
D2.2: Analysis of stability and tensions in incumbent socio-technical regimes (click to open pdf)
This report presents the findings an analysis of socio-technical regimes, and provides an assessment of the degree of stability and tensions, in five empirical domains (electricity, heat/buildings, mobility, agro-food, land-use) for several European countries. This socio-technical analysis uses the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) as its conceptual framework, which focuses on interactions between radical niche-innovations, incumbent regimes, and exogenous secular ‘landscape’ developments. The basic idea is that transitions come about through the alignment of processes at three levels: a) green niche-innovations build up internal momentum (e.g. through learning processes, price/performance improvements, and support from powerful groups), b) changes at the landscape level create pressure on the regime, c) destabilisation of the regime creates windows of opportunity for the diffusion of niche-innovations. The complete country-reports are available for download below.
Country report 1: German electricity regime
Country report 2: UK electricity regime
Country report 3: Swedish heat regime
Country report 4: German heat regime
Country report 5: UK heat regime
Country report 6: UK mobility regime
Country report 7: Dutch mobility regime
Country report 8: Dutch agro-food regime
Country report 9: Hungarian agro-food regime
Country report 10: Portuguese land use regime
Country report 11: Dutch land use regime
D4.1: Tools and procedures for linking three approaches to transition pathways (click to open pdf)
The purpose of this report is to develop tools and procedures for linking the three main analytical PATHWAYS approaches. This implies identifying key linking elements between and across approaches (e.g. key economic, technological, institutional or policy indicators, and elements such as actors, institutions, networks, and regimes). Moreover, this deliverable reports on progress mid-way into the project. The report describes the integration strategy pursued in PATHWAYS and common problems and objectives, shared concepts, empirical integration, and data and metrics. It concludes with an outlook on the evaluation of transitions pathways via the establishment of such an interdisciplinary chain of analysis.
D4.3: Literature review of policy and governance of sustainability transitions (click to open pdf)
This deliverable provides a review of governance and policymaking in the three approaches used to study transitions in PATHWAYS: Quantitative systems modelling, Socio-technical studies, and Initiatives based learning. It aims to synthesize these governance approaches, to compare and contrast, and to use this analysis as basis for common understanding and integrative thread in PATHWAYS. Findings call for more in depth discussions and treatment of governance across the approaches. The commonalities with regard to core problem framing and dimensions that need to be considered is stronger than expected. That is surprising given that there is relatively strong variation of how each dimension of governance considered is analysed in practice. The most practical suggestion that we find for future work is to try to develop an approach where a division of labour across the three approaches is organised. Each approach will drawn on for their respective potential, that are limited in itself, but together they provide complementary feasibility checks.
This report has two aims: inform transition analysis researchers on the content, purpose and preliminary findings of the participative action reasearch and to explore potential for integrative attempts between the PATHWAYS approaches. The general methodological approaches of the participative action reasearch are described which include analytical and more interventionist schemes. This deliverable contributes to a dialogue supporting and instigating integration between approaches - which has to be based on shared concepts, mutual information and an iterated dialogue.
D2.1: Analysis of momentum of green niche innovations (click to open pdf)
This report summarizes the results of 12 country reports of empirical analyses of 6 to 8 niche-innovations in specific domains. The analysis is based on a socio-technical approach to transitions, including the multi-level perspective (MLP). The MLP uggests that transitions come about through interacting developments at three analytical levels: a) radical niche-innovations, b) incumbent socio-technical regime, c) exogenous socio-technical landscape. The report focuses on the level of niche-innovations. The underlying 12 country reports provide an empirical analysis of 6 to 8 niche-innovations, structured along the following three analytical dimensions: Innovation and market trajectory (techno-economic), Actors and social networks (socio-cognitive), and Governance and policy. The reports provide a relative ranking of the 6-8 niche-innovations in terms of momentum, provide an overall assessment of the momentum of each niche-innovation, and briefly describe the momentum on the three analytical categories. The complete country-reports are available for download below.
Country report 1: German electricity niches
Country report 2: UK electricity niches
Country report 3: Swedish heat niches
Country report 4: German heat niches
Country report 5: UK heat niches
Country report 6: UK mobility niches
Country report 7: Dutch mobility niches
Country report 8: Dutch agrofood niches
Country report 9: Portuguese agrofood niches
Country report 10: Hungarian agrofood niches
Country report 11: Portuguese land use niches
Country report 12: Dutch land use niches
D1.1: Set of preliminary scenarios (click to open pdf)
This report looks into modeling results of transition pathways that meet a set of sustainable development targets (most notably the 2°C target), mostly selected from existing literature. As one of the first deliverables of the PATHWAYS project, the main goals are i) to provide the socio-technical transition and the participative action case studies with clear long-term targets by region and domain, which can help to evaluate the cases; and ii) to compare the results given in this report with insights from transition science studies and empirical evidence. Ultimately, the aim is to create a better understanding of realistic transition pathways.
D3.1: Criteria for analysis of case studies (click to open pdf)
This document further elaborates the case studies and participative action experiments in WP3. The document lays out the method for research and analysis of case studies in WP3. This includes some theoretical background information on case study analysis, the rationale for an analytic framework and a manual for the research to be performed. Moreover, the document provides more detailed information specifically on the LivingLab case study approach. The focus is laid on interactive patterns of stakeholders, their social practices, norms and attitudes so as to understand how transitions unfold and may be instigated on this very practical level. The findings on social networks, learning and preferences will be fed into the models of WP1, which will allow to take limitations and opportunities into account that arise from the interaction of actors and institutions. They will also be connected to WP2 to understand the relations between niche and initiative development.